online marketing for therapists

Redefine Marketing And You'll Get Better At It

marketing a therapy practice

Does marketing your therapy practice feel a bit cumbersome/boring/tedious/painful?

 

You’ve gotta redefine what “marketing” is because if you’re feeling that way, your marketing isn’t working as well as it should. Also, life’s too short to feel that way about such an important part of your job.

 

A person who’s looking for a therapist goes on some kind of journey to find one. They might begin that journey by asking a friend, asking a professional, searching online, or attending a talk.

market a therapy practice

 

Marketing your practice is facilitating that search (journey) for the people who are a good fit for your therapy practice. When you think of marketing that way, you can relax. You can even have fun with it. Ask yourself how can you facilitate these journeys in thoughtful and interesting ways.

 

Here are just a few of the ways your next right-fit client might find you:

 

A Referral From One Of Your Colleagues

You can facilitate that journey by allowing your colleagues to know you and get a sense of  what you do. I just had tea with an awesome therapist today (Hi, Shirin!) We didn’t even talk a lot about our clinical work, but I know who to send her way because I know her a little bit better.

 

Online Search

You can facilitate this journey by speaking directly to your right-fit clients on your site. You can also create awesome, thoughtful content that you house on your site and share over social media platforms. Create content that’s useful for your potential clients and fun for you. Some therapists enjoy blogging. Others like creating videos. Others like being guests on podcasts, or hosting a podcast.

 

Public Speaking

Create a talk centered around the needs of your next potential clients. Imagine what they are looking for help with, and make that your topic. Ease the journey by giving attendees a clear path to working with you at the end of the talk. That’s not selling. It’s helping.

 

Make the end of this journey welcoming and seamless.

No matter how your next clients find you, make sure the process of calling you, emailing you or scheduling an appointment online is simple and straightforward.

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How To Create Passive Income in Your Therapy Practice

Have you been thinking about adding passive income to your therapy practice?

The truth: “Passive income” is not really passive. It takes a lot of work, thought and creativity to build an offer that will meet a need and make you a good living.

Before we get any further, I’m going to get rid of the word “passive” and start talking about “scaled.” Using the word “scaled” will protect us from the fallacy that creating this kind of offer is easy.

In a little bit, I’ll walk you through an example of how you might create a scaled offer successfully.

Here are four principles to help you get started with creating a scaled (formerly known as passive) offer:

1. You can’t create crap and make money.

You can NOT create something crappy, put it up on your website, and make a lot of money.

Just 10 years ago, the bar was much lower. At that point, you may have been able to create an informational product in your niche that was basically just an ebook, call it a program, and make lots of money. Not now. The internet has expanded exponentially. Pretty much any information your potential client is searching for is free and available. They can find a youtube video or a set of articles about almost anything.

The way to make money online right now is to genuinely WANT to meet a need, experiment, work hard, and develop your offer until you’ve begun to meet that need.

This is good news for the therapist whose purpose is to serve. I think that’s you. You’re not trying to make a bunch of money quickly. Your standards for what you will provide online are as high as your standards for what you provide in your sessions.

When you’re focused on serving people well, you take the long view rather than trying to grab cash fast.

Look out 5 years from now and consider what kind of business you would like to be running. Imagine how your scaled offer could fit into this business. You’re going to create a high-quality offer that you want to be known for.

2. People pay for experiences, not information.

You have put in thousands of hours providing an experience: therapy. You might provide some psycho-education in your therapy sessions, but you don’t lecture for 50 minutes. You co-create an experience to facilitate growth and change. You’re going to bring some of those same skills into a scaled offer.

Focus on what you want your customer to be able to do or how you want them to feel by the end of the experience, then design an experience to make that possible.

Here are some examples of scaled offers that can be experiences:

  • Workshop
  • Group
  • Online course with community interaction and interaction with you.
  • Adding clinicians to your therapy practice.

If you choose to create a self-led online course, you’re going to have to provide a process for the client to walk through. You’re going to provide videos or audios in addition to written material. I recommend you also provide some kind of access to you, at the very least through a private Facebook group.

I’m a participant in an evergreen online course right now. I get on that Facebook group regularly and ask questions. If I couldn’t get access to the teacher, I’d be frustrated.

Now maybe you're wondering: "What if you want to write a book?"

The vast majority of us will not make our living from selling a book. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write one. Your book can help people, make more people aware of your work, and give you more prestige. Some of your readers might want to work with you directly or with a scaled offer. When you think of your book as a marketing tool rather than as a big money-maker, you can enjoy getting paid for your marketing.

3. The more specific your niche, the better you know your niche, and the more you care about the people in your niche, the more likely you can successfully scale a service.

Let’s look at 2 therapists.

Joe wants to create a self-led online premarital course so that he can make money while he sleeps. Here’s the problem: If you search “online premarital counseling program,” you’ll find fancy, in-depth programs with quizzes included, all for the whopping price of...FREE.

Sorry Joe, but your course is not super-likely to make a lot of money.

On the other hand, if you are providing premarital counseling for a group of couples or throuples who you care about and know are underserved, you might be able to create a scaled service for them.

Tanya wants to create a scaled offer for queer, engaged couples. She’s queer, works with queer couples, and knows exactly what’s already available and why those things aren’t the right fit for her clients. She’d like to create a new service that comes directly from her current work with queer couples.

Tanya, you’ve got a good possibility here.

4. If you start with a very small group of people, hands on, you will know how to scale up from there.

Start small and simple with the format of your scaled offer. Design it to meet a pressing need for the people you want to serve, and offer it to a small group of people you have hand selected or who have been referred by your colleagues. Give a ton of interaction with YOU the first time you offer it.

Look at what worked and what you want to change the next time.

You can grow this service over time so that you’re providing a great experience with a little bit less of you. If you start the offer in-person, you may be able to move it online in the future. If you’d rather start online, you can do that too. Video conferencing and online course platforms make online delivery easy.

What if you think about all of this and would rather just stay in your therapy room and NOT create a scaled offer?

There will always be a need for in-person therapy in your office. Scaled services are not for every therapist.

Ok, Annie. How would one actually start this “scaling” you speak of?

I’ll give you an example: Dee provides individual therapy to people who want help with their use of substances. She uses a harm reduction approach. She’s building her 1:1 practice and would also like to create a scaled service.

She could start with a 3-hour workshop that takes participants through a key part of her process and gives them a few of the most useful tools. She could design this workshop to be experiential and avoid throwing an overwhelming amount of information at them.

The first time Dee offers it, she might set the fee at $100, open it to 6 people, and schedule it for a Saturday. That’s small enough to have it in her office and inexpensive enough that many of her potential clients could easily afford it.

She would create a page on her website that explains what problem this workshop solves and what a participant will walk away with. As soon as they read this page, they’ll know whether it’s right for them. They can register and pay right then and there.

She would let all of her colleagues know that she’s got this workshop coming up, exactly who it’s for, and how it will help them

She’d announce this workshop on all of her listservs and social media platforms where appropriate. In those posts, she would name one or two things the participant will be able to understand or do by the end of the workshop. She would reach out to everyone she knows who might be in contact with her ideal participants.

And look at that. Dee just did a bunch of networking and put herself out there as an expert who has passion and knowledge about how to help people using a harm-reduction model.

She’s done a ton of marketing for her therapy practice even if she doesn’t fill the first workshop.

The maximum $600 she’ll get from this workshop is NOT the most important outcome.

The most important outcomes are: the visibility and building of her reputation, the networking, the huge amounts of feedback from participants, and the testimonials some of them provide.

The fact that she gets paid for all of that is awesome.

Dee is taking the long view, so she knows that the future iterations of this offer are when she will really get paid.

You've probably already figured out that growing your offer so that it can get to dozens or hundreds of people is a whole process. Yep, there's a lot to it, but don't let that stop you from getting started. You can get there, step-by-step.

If you’re thinking: “But what about those successful online courses I see that seem to enroll hundreds of students? Why can’t I just do that?” Listen. 

Those course facilitators started much smaller. They created an offer for a small number of participants, poured sweat into it, and grew it over time. That’s how this works.

If you want to scale up, you’re going to need some help. If I had tried to scale up my businesses without help, I’d still be scribbling on an envelope in a corner somewhere, perhaps drooling by now. I might be the right person to help you if you’re anything like Tanya or Dee (in the above examples). I help committed therapists bring their scaled offers to the people who need them, step-by-step. Start here.

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How To Use Your Superpowers In Your Marketing Plan (Video)

market-your-therapy-practice

This week one of my favorite colleagues interviewed me. Kat Love is an amazing web designer for therapists, and she's got a great blog with resources for building your online presence. In our lively video chat, she asked about how the Superpower Method For Therapists® works. Here are a few of the things we talked about:

  • How to begin to identify your Superpowers

  • Four ways to use your Superpowers in your marketing

  • How to make sure your Superpowers come across on your about me page

  • How to get started immediately in using your Superpowers

I get nervous anytime I give a talk or get in front of a camera, but this chat was actually fun. You'll like Kat, and I hope you grab a few ideas you can try right away.

Watch the interview and get Kat's helpful summary, notes, and resources.

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Registration Is Open. Here's The Most Important Question To Consider

Registration opens today for The Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program. If you’re ready to register, here you go! 

If you’re considering joining the Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program, but you’re not QUITE sure, you might have some of these common questions or concerns about taking the plunge.

  • I’m not sure if I can afford it.

  • I’ve tried coaching programs before.

  • Can I really turn my business around in 3 months?

  • I want to add something besides 1:1 therapy sessions to my business, and I don’t know if this program will help me with that.

I address these 4 concerns right here.

But there’s another concern that deserves more attention. It’ that important.

I don't know if I'll really make use of the program. 

Have you ever paid for an online course and NOT done the work? That’s a bad feeling. You invest the money, get excited about learning and taking advantage of the structure of the program. 

Then you fall behind... and then you stop. You let the course sit there. You tell yourself you’ll get to it when you can. 

Now when you consider a course, even if it looks like the perfect fit for your needs, you fear that you won’t do the work. 

And there is work to do!

This program is set up for you to DO STUFF throughout the program. The entire course is action oriented. You’ve got homework with deadlines. You get feedback from me on every assignment. The homework will bring you closer and closer to the practice you want. I also give you a bonus challenge for every lesson. 

What if you just want to absorb the information and wait to do the work...someday? 

I don’t think that’s a good use of your time and money. 

Accountability

You’ll be on calls and on a private facebook group with a small group of your peers who are also dedicating 14 weeks to turning their practices around. Watching other therapists make changes and take risks is inspiring. It makes you want to do more. 

From September 1st forward, you’ll be guided through a process to identify the weak spots in your business and address them. You’ll be encouraged to shift your business to take full advantage of your unique strengths. 

A therapist in this group usually makes at least one of these big moves: 

  • Changing their business from a general practice to one with a clear specialty
  • Adding one or more clinicians to their practice
  • Adding a new service to their practice that leverages their time
  • Starting an overhaul of their website

You still need accountability after the program ends!

That’s why I created the Superpower Alumni Program, free for all alumni of the Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program for at least a year after you join. In the alumni program, you're part of a monthly group video call with me and a private Facebook group where I check in every day. 

To decide if it's time for you to register, ask yourself where you want to be at the beginning of 2017, after the program is over. 

Where will you be in 2017 if you commit yourself to this program?

Where will you be in 2017 if you don’t?

Here’s the spot to register or find out more about the program.  

 

Registration closes on August 31st.